Kyle Larson remains suspended indefinitely for using a racial slur during an iRacing competition, but the driver is racing again with the World of Outlaws. Larson set a track record at Federated Auto Parts Raceway with a lap of 9.995 seconds during qualifying on May 22. Here is a look at Larson’s record-breaking performance.
. @dirtvision REPLAY: @KyleLarsonRacin sets a new track record at @I55Raceway with an incredible lap of 9.995 seconds in Group A qualifying! Group B hot laps are on track now followed by Group B qualifying. Watch live on DIRTVision! pic.twitter.com/OXaCSI9c1b
— World of Outlaws (@WorldofOutlaws) May 23, 2020
Larson finished 10th in the Outlaws race on May 8 at Knoxville Raceway, per NBC Sports. Chip Ganassi Racing suspended Larson indefinitely from NASCAR on April 13, but the driver’s races with the Outlaws has been approved.
What Did Kyle Larson Say to Get Suspended?
Larson was competing in an iRacing event during NASCAR’s layoff when the incident occurred. The driver appeared to be testing his mic to see if it was working and said the N-word on live television.
“You can’t hear me? Hey n—–,” Larson said during the broadcast.
There has not been a timeline released for Larson to return to NASCAR. Larson released a statement on the same day his suspension was announced and admitted there was “no excuse” for what he said.
“Hey, I just want to say I’m sorry,” Larson noted, per NASCAR.com. “Last night I made a mistake and said the word that should never, ever be said. There’s no excuse for that. I wasn’t raised that way. It’s just an awful thing to say. I feel very sorry for my family, my friends, my partners, the NASCAR community and especially the African-American community. I understand the damage is probably unrepairable, and I own up to that. But I just want to let you all know how sorry I am, and I hope everybody is staying safe during these crazy times. Thank you.”
Matt Kenseth Is the Temporary Replacement Driver for the No. 42 Car
Chip Ganassi Racing appointed Matt Kenseth to drive the No. 42 car for as long as Larson remains suspended. Chip Ganassi cited Kenseth’s “stability” as a major reason for selecting him for the ride.
“I think Matt gives us the best chance to win, run up front and compete for wins,” Ganassi told The Associated Press, via USA Today. “I’ve always gone with the mantra of trying to take the best driver available, and he’s the best driver available right now. And he brings something to our sponsors that they need right now. Stability. No baggage. Family man. Daytona 500 winner. Championship winner.”
Sponsors Initially Dropped Their Partnership After Larson’s Comments
Credit One Bank and McDonald’s quickly dropped their sponsorship of the No. 42 car after Larson’s comments. Ganassi’s appointment of Kenseth appeared to save the race team’s sponsorships.
“Credit One Bank supports @CGRTeams and their choice of @mattkenseth to take over the driving duties for the No. 42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet Camaro,” Credit One Bank said in a statement. “Like the millions of #NASCAR fans, we look forward to seeing the world’s best stock car racing again very soon.”
Credit One Bank was the primary sponsor on Kenseth’s car when NASCAR resumed competition in Darlington, and the McDonald’s logo was also prominently displayed. It is unclear how long Larson will remain suspended from NASCAR races.